Medwedeff Forge & Design produces large-scale public and site-specific sculpture, sculpture for exhibitions, and high-end architectural pieces for commercial, museum, public and residential projects. John Medwedeff established his studio in 1988 in Murphysboro, IL. His 6000 square foot space encompasses all of the equipment of a contemporary sculpture studio, a traditional blacksmith shop, as well as industrial metalworking technologies. A 30-foot tall crane bay allows for the vertical construction of very large pieces.
John Medwedeff designs and directs each project. He moves complex projects from the design stage through installation, coordinating efforts with those of clients, community arts groups, architects and general contractors while guaranteeing the master craftsmanship of finished work.
John Medwedeff has been creating sculpture, site-specific architectural ironwork, and furniture for over thirty years. His work is represented in numerous collections and exhibitions in the United States, including the Illinois State Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Medwedeff has been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, including WTTW Chicago’s program Arts Across Illinois; the HEPHAISTOS Yearbook 2006 (Peter Elgass’ “Metall Design International,” Germany), Direct Metal Sculpture and The Contemporary Blacksmith (both books by Dona Meilach), and the journals Art & Antiques, Architectural Digest, American Craft, This Old House, Metalsmith, The Anvil’s Ring, Fabricator, and Sculpture.
Following a three-year blacksmithing apprenticeship with James Wallace at the National Metal Museum in Memphis, TN, he earned his BFA and MFA degrees in art from SIU Carbondale. As an educator, he has taught workshops at numerous universities, craft schools, and symposia, including Washington University in St. Louis and Penland School for Crafts in North Carolina. He's been running Medwedeff Forge & Design since 1988.
Office Manager and co-owner Cynthia Roth's poems and book reviews have appeared in several journals including Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Word Riot, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Amarillo Bay, Harvard Review, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Midwest, and Moxie. She writes poetry commissions for individuals and organizations.
Her first chapbook, Ekphrasis, was part of the Dusie Press Kollektiv in 2014. She has read her poems at Pike's Pub in Seattle, WA; Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Sally Logan Library in Murphysboro, IL; Bread Loaf in Middlebury, VT; and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
A short film about her work as a poet & artist was produced by WTTW Chicago for the series Arts Across Illinois. In 2015, poems from her unpublished manuscript were read and reviewed by David Harris on Radio Free Nashville. Other honors include semi-finalist in the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, and finalist awards in poetry from Lost Roads Press, the St. Louis Poetry Center, Gulf Coast, & other journals and organizations. She has also received an Individual Fellowship in Poetry from the Illinois Arts Council. She earned her MFAs in fine art and in poetry at SIU Carbondale.
Studio Supervisor Megan Robin-Abbott started blacksmithing in high school as an apprentice to Dean Rose, a very patient local blacksmith. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2000 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and continued to work as a blacksmith for different shops before coming to Medwedeff Forge & Design. Megan has traveled as a journeyman blacksmith in Europe and the UK and has demonstrated with crews nationally and internationally. She takes great joy in spoiling the shop cat. Megan has been with Medwedeff Forge & Design since 2010.
Holden Dodson is a graduate of the SIUC College of Business with a degree in Economics. Currently he is a Fabricator at Medwedeff Forge and Design, assisting with building sculpture. He also manages social media accounts and IT work. Holden grew up in a family business and knows what it takes to get the job done.
Follow our rascally shop cat here. Her name is Pest Control and she loves the anvil when it's warm.